Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE

Get access Subject: Middle East and Islamic Studies
Edited by Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas and Everett Rowson with a team of more than 20 section editors.

EI-Three is the third edition of Brill’s Encyclopaedia of Islam which sets out the present state of our knowledge of the Islamic World. It is a unique and invaluable reference tool, an essential key to understanding the world of Islam, and the authoritative source not only for the religion, but also for the believers and the countries in which they live.

The Third Edition of the Encyclopaedia of Islam is an entirely new work, with new articles reflecting the great diversity of current scholarship. It is published in five substantial segments each year, both online and in print. The new scope includes comprehensive coverage of Islam in the twentieth century and of Muslim minorities all over the world.

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(1,558 words)

Author(s): Belo, Catarina
The term “element” (Ar. ʿunṣur, pl. ʿanāṣir) is commonly used to refer to the four elements found in nature, according to classical Greek and mediaeval (including Islamic) science—namely, fire, air, water, and earth. An equivalent Arabic term, borrowed from the Greek στοιχεῖον (stoicheion) via Syriac, is usṭuqus (pl. usṭuqusāt). Aristotle credits Empedocles (c. 495–35 B.C.E.) with being the first to formulate the theory of the four elements that underlie all material substances. These elements could be found combined in natural substances (fo…
Date: 2019-05-08

Elias of Nisibis

(2,106 words)

Author(s): Bertaina, David
Elias of Nisibis (b. 364/974–5, d. 438/1046–7) was the most significant theologian writing in Christian Arabic during the fifth/eleventh century. He served as metropolitan archbishop of Nisibis (present-day Nusaybin, Turkey) for the East Syriac (“Nestorian”) Church of the East from 399/1008 to 438/1046. He was born in Shīnāyā (hence his nickname Bar Shīnāyā), near the Tigris, south of the Great Zab River. He was ordained a priest in 384/994 by Yuḥannā b. ʿĪsā (d. 401–2/1011), a bishop who would la…
Date: 2019-05-08


(852 words)

Author(s): Rippin, Andrew
Elijah, a biblical prophet who is commonly identified with Ilyās and Ilyāsīn, is mentioned three times in the Qurʾan. The Arabic name Ilyās was probably borrowed, via Syriac, from the Greek form (Ἠλίας) of the Hebrew Eliyāhū; a variant form, Ilyāsīn, found only in Q 37:130, is probably best explained as demanded by the rhyme scheme of the passage (Horovitz, 99). Q 6:85 simply lists Ilyās along with Zechariah, John, and Jesus as being among the righteous. Q 37:123–32 tells a more extensive story of Ilyās being sent as a messenger to worshippers of Baʿl (Ba…
Date: 2019-05-08


(677 words)

Author(s): Tottoli, Roberto
Elisha (Ar. al-Yasaʿ) is considered a prophet in Muslim tradition and is mentioned twice in the Qurʾān among the upright and just men, in verses that also mention other prophetic figures. In Q 6:84, David and Solomon, Job and Joseph, and Moses and Aaron are mentioned among the descendants of Isaac and Jacob, and in Q 6:85–6, it is stated that “Zacharias and John, Jesus and Elias, all were upright men, and Ishmael, Elisha, Jonah, and Lot.” In a second passage (Q 38:48), Elisha is mentioned, along…
Date: 2019-05-08


(2,223 words)

Author(s): Carusi, Paola
The terms for elixir in Late Antiquity, Greek ksērion and Syriac ksīrīn, which were the source of Arabic al-iksīr and and then Latin elixir, denoted, in both medicine and alchemy, an agent for the “healing” of bodies. In medicine the term was used also specifically as a collyrium for the eyes; in alchemy it was, in most cases, a mysterious agent believed to make possible the transformation (transmutation) of imperfect bodies, metals in particular, into noble and immutable bodies (transmutation into “gold” and “silver”…
Date: 2019-05-08

Elvan Çelebi

(895 words)

Author(s): Köksal, M. Fatih
Elvan (Elvān) Çelebi (d. after 760/1358–9), an Ottoman poet, was the son of Âşık Ali (ʿĀşıq ʿAlī) Paşa (d. 13 Safer 733/3 November 1332), author of the Garibname (Gharībnāme). His grandfather was Muhlis (Mukhliṣ) Paşa (d. 672/1273–4), and his great grandfather, Baba İlyas-i Horasani (Bābā İlyās-i Khurāsānī, d. 638/1240). Elvan Çelebi’s exact date and place of birth are unknown, but he was probably born in Kırşehir, located in central Anatolia. Some sources identify him as “Ulvan” (ʿUlvān), but the Arabic epitaph on the tom…
Date: 2019-05-08


(5,450 words)

Author(s): D'Ancona, Cristina
The doctrine of emanation ( fayḍ) plays an important role in Arabic-Islamic philosophy, even though it was rejected, for different reasons, by theologians such as al-Ghazālī (d. 515/1111) and philosophers such as Ibn Rushd (Averroës, d. 595/1198). It is rooted in Greek philosophy and was transmitted to Arabic-speaking scholars during the translation of Greek works, especially those of Neoplatonic phil-osophy. In Greek philosophy, “emanation” is a metaphor, whose philosophical use, although attested i…
Date: 2019-05-08

Emin Nihad

(572 words)

Author(s): Sagaster, Börte
Emin Nihad (Emīn Nihād, d. after 1875) was the author of Müsameretname (Müsāmeretnāme, “Book of night entertainment”), a work of seven narratives in Ottoman Turkish published in twelve volumes between 1288/1872 and 1292/1875. Except for a single reference in Yusuf (Yūsuf) Neyyir’s Gülzar-ı hayal (2 vols., 1288/1871–2 and 1292/1875), which indicates that Emin Nihad worked in the Turkish Correspondance Office Mektubi-i Hariciye Kalemi/ Mektūb-ı Khāriciyye Qalemi) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”, there are no extant sources that document his life. The Müsameretname is a col…
Date: 2019-05-08


(1,102 words)

Author(s): De Smet, Daniel
The pre-Socratic Greek philosopher Empedocles (c. 490–430 B.C.E.) was known in the Muslim world as Anbaduqlīs (his name appears in other variants, including Ambīduqlīs, Ibn Duqlīs, Anfāriqlūs, and even Benīdīdīs). Authentic fragments of Empedocles’ poems were transmitted in Arabic through citations in the works of Aristotle and his commentators. The translations were often very defective, as Arab translators generally felt uneasy with Greek verse. The Arabs had some knowledge of Empedoclean doctrines also through Greek doxographies, such as the Placita philosophorum of Aeti…
Date: 2019-05-08

Emrullah Efendi

(739 words)

Author(s): Sabev, Orlin
Emrullah (Amr Allāh) Efendi (1275/1858–22 Ramazan (Ramaḍān) 1332/14 August 1914) was a prominent Ottoman educationalist and minister of public instruction. He was born to a merchant, Ali (ʿAlī) Efendi, in 1275/1858, in Lüleburgaz (a town in European Turkey, 138 km/86 mi west-northwest of Istanbul). After graduating from the Mekteb-i Mülkiye (School of Civil Service) in 1298/1881, Emrullah Efendi served as maarif müdürü ( maʿārif müdīr, director of education) in Ioannina (1299/1882), Salonica (1301/1884), Aleppo (1304/1887), and Aydın (1308/1891). In 1309/189…
Date: 2019-05-08

Encümen-i şuara

(633 words)

Author(s): Çakır, Müjgân
The Encümen-i şuara (Encümen-i şuʿarā), an Ottoman literary group, was formed in Istanbul, in the second half of the nineteenth century, by poets who adhered to classical poetry but also followed new trends in poetry. Encümen-i şuara, or “Assembly of poets,” was not the group’s proper name but frequently used as its designation, especially after the founding of the Turkish Republic. Leskofçalı Galip (Lesqofçalı Ghālib, d. 1284/1867) was considered the leader of the group, which met once a week for…
Date: 2019-05-08

Encyclopaedias, Arabic

(2,575 words)

Author(s): Muhanna, Elias I.
Arabic-language encyclopaedias are attested in the classical Arabic-Islamic intellectual tradition from its very beginnings. They assume various forms and encompass materials profane and sacred, speculative and traditional, entertaining and edifying. A subset of the broad field of compilatory literature—which includes anthologies, dictionaries, textbooks, manuals, and other types of compendia—encyclopaedic works similarly depend upon the selection, organisation, and transmission of authoritative …
Date: 2019-05-08

Enderuni Fazıl

(758 words)

Author(s): Schmidt, Jan
Enderuni Fazıl (Fāḍıl Bey Enderūnī, d. 1224/1809–10) was an Ottoman poet who was born in ʿAkkā (Acre), into an Arab family originally of Medina. His grandfather, Tahir (Ṭāhir) Bey, was governor of both ʿAkkā and Ṣafad. Tahir Bey was able to maintain a semi-independent state in the area, but his domain was subjected to the Porte in 1090/1776–7 by Gazi Hasan (Ghāzī Ḥasan) Paşa (d.1204–1790). Tahir Bey was killed in the conflict with Gazi Hasan Paşa, and his son, Enderuni Fazıl’s father, was slain a…
Date: 2019-05-08

Enderun Mektebi

(688 words)

Author(s): Sabev, Orlin
The Enderun Mektebi (Enderūn Mektebi, Palace School) was established to educate and train capable state governors, clerks, and officers—in other words, the Ottoman ruling elite. In Ottoman Turkish, enderūn means “inside” (from the Persian andarūn), and Enderun Mektebi literally denotes “Internal School.” There are various views about the exact time of its establishment. Some authors assert that it was founded during the reign of Sultan Murad (Murād) II (r. 824–48/1421–44 and 850–5/1446–51), in Edirne. Others claim that it was la…
Date: 2019-05-08

Entente Liberale

(820 words)

Author(s): Ahmad, Feroz | Şenses, Bülent
The Entente Liberale (Turk. Hürriyet ve İtilaf Fırkası/Ott. Ḥürriyet ve İʾtilāf Fırqası, the Freedom and Accord Party) was founded in Istanbul, on 21 November 1911, but the party’s origins go back to the establishment of the Ahrar Fırkası (Aḥrār Fırqası, the Liberal Union), on 14 September 1908. The inspiration behind both parties was Prince Sabahaddin (Prens Ṣabāh al-Dīn, d. 1948), who returned from his Parisian exile on 21 August 1908. However, he refused the leadership, preferring to be the inspiration behind the scene in both parties. The Ahrar Fırkası hoped to become the dom…
Date: 2019-05-08